Summer has arrived, and along with summer comes the corresponding summertime issues: hot sun and flies! We had a warm winter, as many people did, and I think one of the results of that will be an especially “buzzy” fly season! Fly masks are on, at least on the horses who will wear one. For the others, well, nature has her own ways of helping horses cope—long forelocks, manes and tails!
As you probably know, we lost one of our long-time residents a couple weeks ago. Leave Seattle was special to a lot of people at the farm. Despite being a son of Seattle Slew, he didn’t have much of a racing career or a particularly successful stallion career. On the other hand, once he got to Old Friends, he sort of found his niche. He was often a little cranky but rarely missed a carrot opportunity, even if he made you feel that he was barely tolerating your human presence. He didn’t much care to be fussed over but if he liked someone, they might be allowed to pat his nose. He was kind of small and didn’t really stick out in a crowd, but was still a really pretty horse. Throughout his time at Old Friends, he never made a fuss or caused a commotion. Green grass, some carrots and regular mealtimes were all he really expected out of life. In the end, Leave Seattle developed a neurological issue that came on suddenly and worsened rapidly. It happened so fast that he never had a chance to suffer, and at Old Friends we try not to let our old boys and girls suffer when the time comes. Leave Seattle enjoyed his life up until the very end, and then he went peacefully on. You can’t ask for more than that, really.
And, as is always the case, an empty paddock doesn’t stay empty for long. Rapid Redux arrived at Old Friends this week to begin his well-earned retirement. (I’m not sure what anyone else is calling him, but I am going with R2!)
Rapid Redux holds the modern day racing record for consecutive wins. He was retired with winnings of over $350,000 and a record 22 straight wins. A six year old son of Pleasantly Perfect, you can see R2’s pedigree here. R2 is living in the paddock behind the office, Swannie having moved into Leave Seattle’s old paddock next to Pops and Ring. R2 is a very pretty bright chestnut with a narrow white stripe down his face. Today I could tell is wasn’t totally tuned in to the carrot bucket, but when he did come over he was very, very nice. He took carrots like a gentleman, let little girls fuss over him and generally seemed to be a calm, easy-going horse. He will love being at Old Friends.
We had some terrific visitors today, as is usually the case, but one little girl stood out. She was probably 6 or 7, and is a professional actress filming a movie in Lexington. Rachel is also going to be on a new ABC series in January called “How To Live with Your Parents.” She was a terrific kid: polite, friendly and talkative. She also loved the horses, climbing on the fence to greet each one. Of course, she liked Pops best, as they had the whole movie star/acting thing in common. Patton was pretty smitten with her, too, offering up kisses and slobbery affection. And now, I can say I know a Hollywood actress!
Afternoon Deelites is still wearing his grazing muzzle, and is still sulking. In fact, he is so miffed about the whole situation that he refused to even look at us today. And just forget about coming over to visit, not happening. On the other hand, Kiri’s Clown also wears the grazing muzzle but he takes the opposite approach. He met us at the fence every time, hoping we would have pity on him and take the darn contraption off. No such luck, but Kiri keeps hoping!
Compare AD and Kiri, who are on summer diets because extra weight affects their legs and feet, with Commentator and Patton. Tator and Patton clearly have no difficulty carrying a few, ahem, extra pounds. I can only describe Tator like this: picture a fat sausage. Now add four toothpicks for legs. Voila, that’s our Tator! OK, OK, so it’s not really that bad. But he is, let’s say, a well-rounded individual! And Patton is much the same, although Patton has kind of that quarter horse physique anyway—square bodied, stocky and solidly muscled. Oh, and Special Ring is right up there in the running for most well-fed, too!
It was a fun day at the farm today. I visited with Wallenda, gave three tours, got slobbered on, met the new horse. It makes for a quick but enjoyable Sunday. We hope you can visit us soon, but in the meantime thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends!
P.S. To I’ll Have Another: run like the wind, big boy!